A few years ago, a group of committed local partners started exploring the possibility of bringing a program to the Seattle area and eventually formed the King County Bike Share Partnership (BSP) to advocate and plan for a King County program.
In 2008, BSP hosted its first Bike Share Symposium. This all-day workshop brought together individuals to learn and discuss the issues of bike sharing and the state of bike sharing in North America. By 2009, bike sharing was already changing in North America with the launch of the Bixi program in Montreal. Their system used solar powered kiosks that allowed for station placement flexibility. To explore how this technology might be used in King County, a Bike Share Expo was held in South Lake Union and Redmond Town Center. Representatives from Bixi, B-Cycle and the Bike Share Group set up their kiosks for attendees to try out. Clearly the technology was changing and bike sharing appeared ready to expand to many more cities.
In the next two years, North America saw a dramatic expansion of bike sharing programs. Systems launched in Minneapolis, Denver, Washington DC, Boston and a number of smaller cities.
In 2011, with the help of federal grant funds, King County Metro hired a third party to create the King County Bike Share Business Plan. As a result of this plan, Puget Sound Bike Share formed in June 2012, incorporated as a non-profit and hired an Executive Director later that year. In December 2012, the Washington State Department of Transportation recommended King County for a $750,000 grant for the purchase and installation of stations in the University District neighborhood.
A bike share system vendor/operator was chosen in April 2013.
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